When I was younger I used to identify with my anger to a very strong degree. You see, I had a very bad temper. It was so bad that I regularly scared the people around me when I lost it. When I was in grade school I was known for my temper. It was an integral part of my reputation and my own self-assessment. Other children would get afraid when I absolutely lost it and I absolutely lost in on many an occasion. My family generally agreed that I received my temper from my father who was also infamous for having a very hot temper.
I idealized my father when I was young and used to follow him around. And then when I was four to five years old, my father left me. I think this likely played a large part in my strong attachment and self-identification with my anger. I loved my father and I received this from him and when he left it was one of the ways I internalized a continuing connection with him.
I used to think of my anger as a very big part of who I was and even considered it a source of refuge. Cringe :( I thought it protected me from others and I saw it as a way I could impose my control and will over others. Or so I thought...
After I started studying Buddhism and talking about this with my teacher she instructed me to have a good look at this anger and to watch carefully the effect it had on myself and others. I understood in the abstract maybe that anger was bad, but it was such a basis for my conception of self that I did not really think it was possible to get rid of it. Even worse I was scared to do so and didn't want to! If I abandoned this wouldn't I be abandoning a part of myself?? Luckily, I listened to my teacher and checked up on it and used a little bit of mindfulness to see what the real fruits were of my anger...
Let's just say that over the course of a few years it became quite apparent to me that - shockingly - there was not a single redeeming quality to my temper. To my surprise, after looking carefully I found that my temper was a huge hindrance and caused me a huge amount of grief. It was also a very large source of suffering for those around me. This really did come as a surprise! I'm ashamed now to say that this was a surprise, but it really was...
After developing sure knowledge that my temper was a problem and was only causing me grief - without a single redeeming quality!! - I started to wonder how I could abandon it? I was still very unsure if this was even possible given how long I had self-identified with it. It was a very large part of who I thought I was.
The first thing I did was to start thinking and resolving that I was not my anger. My anger was not an integral part of me, but rather a construct and habit that I had developed. After looking into my past and coming to terms with my father and other formative developments I can say that I no longer identify with my anger at all. To be clear, I still get angry... but it is no longer a part of my self-conception.
Really, it is quite amazing to me how far I've been able to come in abandoning anger. That has more to do with just how bad my temper was than how little anger I have now ;) It is all relative after all. The keys were to understand what a burden my anger was and to realize that I am not an inherently angry person. I cultivated the wish to get rid of and abandon my temper. I watched when it would arise and would generate regret at doing so and would resolve to try harder to be mindful. I started to associate my anger as a bad little habit of mind. Nothing more. One that just need to be watched carefully lest it cause damage to myself and others. And lo and behold, while I'm far from perfect I really have made huge progress! I've greatly reduced the suffering I've inflicted on myself and others from my temper.
So this is my story and experience trying to abandon this habit of anger. It really is a kind of thought training and practice if you think about it. There is no magic to it just a lot of practice and reflection.
My current big project is my arrogance. That is another habit that I've self-identified with and have stupidly cultivated over the years. The headway I've made with my temper though gives me confidence that arrogance can also be abandoned. The technique I'm using right now which seems to be really helpful is to reflect whenever I do something well or receive praise and the arrogant mind arises, "Oh silly arrogant mind! You played no part in giving cause to whatever success I just achieved. In fact, I achieved that success in spite of you and certainly not because of you! You didn't help me in the slightest to achieve this so - arrogant mind - you deserve none of the credit. Now go back to playing in your sandbox you silly arrogant mind!"
So, something like that... :)
Hope this helps!